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Peaceful protesters ordered to pay fines totalling over €11,000
6.11.17
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19 people who peacefully protested against the HOMSEC "security and defence technologies" exhibition in March this year in Madrid have been fined more than 11,000 euros under Spain's 'Gag Law' (Ley Mordaza).

The protest took place outside the IFEMA conference centre, where the protesters hung banners at the gates and covered themselves in red paint to represent "the spilt blood of the victims" of the weapons that are "promoted and sold at HOMSEC", according to a press release issued by the group Desarma Madrid (Disarm Madrid).

More than 100 collectives and organisations from across Spain supported a statement issued by Desarma Madrid that called for IFEMA to cancel the event and for public spaces to be used to promote a culture of peace.

The 19 protesters were arrested and the office of the delegation of the Spainsh government initially tried to have the protesters charged with the crime of public disorder, but a judge dismissed the case.

The government delegation subsequently resorted to using powers under the 'Gag Law' (Law on the Protection of Citizens' Security, Ley de Protección de Seguridad Ciudadana), which defines a number of acts as "administrative infractions" punishable by fines.

Sources

Ley Mordaza y 11.000 euros en multas por protestar contra la venta de armas en Madrid (El Salto, 25 October 2017)

Multa de más de 11.000 euros por protestar contra la venta de armas en Madrid (Desarma Madrid, 24 October 2017)

Further reading

Fined with the Gag Law for carrying a bag with the face of a cat and the abbreviation A.C.A.B. (Statewatch News Online, 26 May 2016)

Initially offensive: student fined for the letters on his sweater (Statewatch News Online, 12 December 2016)

Fines to punish participation in demonstrations. Resisting the administrative criminalisation of activists (Statewatch News Online, 19 December 2014)

Austerity policies also cut rights and liberties in Spain, by Peio Aierbe, Mugak /SOS Racismo (Statewatch Journal, vol 23 no 1, March 2013)

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